What is facial fat reduction?
Facial fat reduction is a broad term to describe different procedures or surgeries that can be used to reduce or remove unwanted facial fullness or excess fat in certain areas of the face. In general, there are both surgical and non-surgical options. Surgical options include facial liposuction or direct fat excision or lipectomy.
What are the most common facial fat reduction surgeries?
The most common areas to reduce facial fat are in the cheeks and under the chin or neck.
For patients with round or cherubic cheeks, we often perform buccal fat reduction or removal to slim the cheeks and have a more contoured facial shape.
For patients with submental fullness or double chin, we often do liposuction to remove the double chin and give more definition to the neck. Some patients have both excess fat above and below the platysma muscle of the neck. This is usually assessed with the surgeon during your consultation. If you have both superficial and deep neck fat, then a combination of liposuction and submentoplasty or direct excision of fat is done in order to give the best results and definition.
How are facial fat reduction surgeries done?
Buccal fat reduction or removal is done through small incisions inside the mouth. can be done with local anesthesia or mild sedation often in the office or in the operating room. Sutures inside the mouth dissolve over 1-2 weeks.
Liposuction can be done with local anesthesia or mild sedation often in the office or in the operating room. A small incision is made under the chin and possibly behind each ear in order to contour the neck and remove a double chin.
Submentoplasty can be done with local anesthesia or mild sedation often in the office or in the operating room. A small incision is made under the chin in the crease. Fat can be excised directly through this incision.
Oftentimes, all three of these surgeries are done simultaneously to get the best results and have one recovery period depending on the patient and their needs.
What is the downtime for facial fat reduction surgery?
All of these procedures can expect swelling for 1-2 weeks and wearing a compression garment for 1 week. Sutures come out at 1 week and vigorous exercise should be avoided for 2 weeks. Best results will take about 3 months for the skin to completely contract.
What are non-surgical options for facial fat reduction?
There are non-surgical options for facial fat reduction including Kybella ™ and CoolSculpting ™
These options are generally for submental fullness or double chin. Kybella is an enzyme that is injected to dissolve fat. CoolSculpting freezes fat and causes it to disintegrate and dissolve over time. However, these non-surgical options often require multiple sessions and results can be variable depending on how each individual responds to the treatment. Additionally, downtime is similar for both surgical and non-surgical procedures as there is swelling associated with non-surgical options.